There are only 24 slots available in the NBA All-Star Game. In a league with over 450 players where at any given season a player can break out and play like an All-Star, naturally, there will be players left out.
The list of All-Star snubs each year can actually form a whole team of their own. Even though these players have played awesome basketball for the first half of the season, the reality is, there just aren’t enough spots to fit everyone in.
Here are two of the biggest All-Star snubs this season:
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
The disrespect is 100% correct.
James Harden’s IG story 👀 pic.twitter.com/nRnILd62xJ— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 3, 2023
Sixers guard James Harden has gone to 10 straight All-Star games not missing one since the 2012-2013 season, but that streak – barring an injury substitution – will be over this season.
Harden is no longer the scoring machine he was in Houston where he won three scoring titles, but Philly doesn't need him to be that. He has made the conscious decision to be a table-setter for the league’s scoring leader, Joel Embiid. He is getting the team organized while being the secondary scoring option, averaging 21.3 points per game. Harden is also averaging a league-leading 10.9 assists, to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game. He’s assisting on virtually half of his teammates' baskets. The Sixers also score 6.9 more points per 100 possessions when he’s on the court – a team best – showing his impact on his teams’ ability to win ball games.
The 76ers are currently third in the East and with the fourth best overall record in the NBA. Although he’s missed 16 games this season, Harden is currently seventh in the MVP ladder. It’s a travesty that among the 10 players on that list, Harden is the only player not named an All-Star.
For Harden’s part, he’s still putting his team first. “All right, it’s about winning a championship at this point,” he said. “We’ve got one goal, and that’s all I care about.”
This is definitely a huge miss, and and at this point, I agree with Coach Doc Rivers saying that voting results be made public. This would create a culture of accountability, instead of personal bias. That bias against him is the only reason possible Harden was not voted onto the team. –Willie Wilson
De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings' ascent in the NBA this season was a surprise to many. Year in and year out, their aspiration to make it to the playoffs has remained a pipe dream especially with their lackluster play.
This year, however, things have changed for the Kings. With new coach Mike Brown, the surprise team of this season are third in the West, primarily driven by De'Aaron Fox's stellar play.
Despite averaging 24.3 PPG to go along with 6.1 APG, the league's number one clutch scorer's name was surprisingly missing when the reserves of the NBA's All-Stars were announced–a shock to many considering his improved level of play this season.
Fox is the engine, both on offense and on defense, that is at the forefront of the Kings' success. With his teammate Domantas Sabonis making the cut, there could have been a way to include him in the team with the Kings on pace to make it to the playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons. –Isaac Go